Jean Boulet « disqualified » from the post of Minister of Immigration, says Legault
Jean Boulet disqualified himself from the post of Minister of Immigration due to controversial remarks about newcomers, according to François Legault.
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“I keep him as a candidate. I think he has just disqualified himself” as Minister of Immigration, argued the outgoing Prime Minister on Wednesday, in an interview with Mario Dumont at LCN.
Minister Boulet said that 80% of immigrants « do not work, do not speak French, or do not adhere to the values of Quebec society », during a debate in Mauricie on September 21. He defended himself by saying « to have expressed his thoughts badly »
These comments contrast with certain statements by outgoing Prime Minister François Legault, who maintains that the CAQ government has ensured that “80% of newcomers speak French before being chosen.”
In fact, according to data from the Department of Immigration for the year 2021, 84.4% of economic immigrants welcomed by Quebec knew French.
In addition, the share of immigrants arriving in Montreal was 65% last year, according to the Quebec Institute of Statistics.
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After these remarks resurfaced on social networks, Jean Boulet published a message on Twitter expressing that his words exceeded his thoughts.
« I’m sorry for expressing my thoughts badly. The excerpt broadcast does not reflect what I think. We must continue to focus on the reception, francization and integration of immigrants, which are a source of wealth for Quebec,” he wrote.
Despite this mea culpa, François Legault judges that the words of his minister are “unacceptable”.
“Jean made a serious mistake, it’s not true what he said. Mr. Boulet knows it. He says he said that in the heat of the moment, but it’s not an excuse that justifies what he said, I very much regret Mr. Boulet’s words, « said the chief caquiste, who was invited on Wednesday by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
These remarks aroused the indignation of the liberal candidate Isabelle Melançon.
“These prejudices do NOT correspond SO much to what I see on the ground, in Verdun. It is deplorable to see that this is what the outgoing Minister of Employment thinks,” she noted.
“What have you been doing since 2018? You are the outgoing immigration minister, your government has even implemented a values test. Tell us about your record in terms of regionalization instead of spreading your prejudices,” added the Liberal candidate in Nelligan, Monsef Derraji.